I went to a Waterparks concert, and here’s what happened.

I+went+to+a+Waterparks+concert%2C+and+heres+what+happened.

Reilly Bisoski, Writer

I went to a Waterparks concert, and here’s how it went.  

Waterparks is a pop-punk band made up of three members: Front man Awsten Knight, Guitarist Geoff Wigington, and drummer Otto Wood. They kicked off their biggest headlining tour yet titled “A Night Out on Earth” following the release of their fourth album “Greatest Hits”.  

I’ve only been to one other concert of theirs, which was in 2019 titled “The Fandom Tour”. They’ve been my favorite band since 2018, and I was lucky enough to get VIP to meet them with my friend, Thea Walerski in 2019. It was safe to say it was the best day of my life up until my second time seeing them, the most recent time. 

Me and Thea with the band in 2019 (from left to right: Awsten, me, Geoff, Thea, Otto)

They just so happened to come to Detroit on my birthday, November 3rd, so when the tickets were released, we rushed to buy them before they sold out. Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get VIP this time because it sold out during pre-sale, but we did get an early entry pass which got us in before general admission.  

Good thing too, because it was a sold-out show. The venue, Saint Andrews Hall, was packed. Me and my mom got there four hours before the doors opened to wait in line and there were already people in line. Because we were so early, our spot in line was right by the band’s tour bus. I was lucky enough to see the drummer, Otto, twice walking to and from the bus and the venue. I got to say hi to him! Then Thea showed up some time later just in time for Awsten to come out. He came up to us and asked how we were doing, and Thea says “that’s not Awsten!” and he just looked at her. Girl, yes that is Awsten Knight, with his multicolored hair and heterochromia and everything. He was super sweet, but I was too scared to ask for a picture.  

Finally, after four hours of waiting in the cold, we were let inside. Me and Thea luckily got super close to the stage! Another hour of waiting later the opener went on, a band called Phem who were AMAZING, literally so good.  

Then Waterparks came on, and one thing I noticed when comparing the intro songs between the two concerts was that it’s truly an out of body experience. It’s like entering another world. The backdrop too just adds to the whole theme of the tour: A Night Out on Earth. The background was made to look like clouds with 3 different colored doors, each representing a member of the band. The clouds lit up different colors too! 

Me and Thea screamed to “Watch What Happens Next” until our throats were raw. When it was over, she just turns to me and goes “anyways…”  

Awsten is so energetic throughout the whole show, I don’t know how he does it. One thing about Awsten is that he is very engaging with the crowd and his fans. During the 2019 show he made us all sing the national anthem because he thought it would be funny. He talks directly to people in the crowds, points out posters, grabs people’s pride flags and wears them around his neck for a song or two, and even wears things like sunglasses or hats if people throw them on the stage. It makes every single show unique.  

The Detroit show on November 3rd, 2021 was no exception. 

Before we first left to stand in line for four hours, my mom gave me the idea to make a poster about how it was my birthday. So literally five minutes before I got into the car, I grabbed a piece of printer paper and wrote “IT IS MY BIRTHDAY” in thick sharpie, then folded it and stuck it in my back pocket.  

Us with our posters in line

So it was nearing the end of an amazing concert that I already knew I was going to have post-concert depression after, there were maybe four or five songs left on the setlist. It was already eventful so far- Awsten had us sing Secret Life of Me in a British accent (twice, because he said he wasn’t expecting it to be that good), I got kicked in the face by a crowd surfer, Thea got kicked in the head, our voices were shot from screaming to the songs. Then I remembered the poster in my pocket. 

Awsten was telling us a life lesson about why you shouldn’t throw rocks at people, then without thinking I held up my small, crumpled sign. A few moments passed and he still hadn’t noticed it, so everyone around me started yelling to get his attention and tell him that it was my birthday. They were all super cool, shoutout to those people. Finally, he hears the, like, 20 people screaming at him to look at my sign, and screams “WHAT”. Everyone started to point to my sign, and he walks over to the side we were standing on and says “listen I have Lasik but it is dark”, then he reads my sign out loud and says “look at you go, look at you go” (like he was mocking me or something I don’t know, I was just in shock that he actually acknowledged my small sign) and then he says “happy birthday”. 

Imagine, like, Harry Styles telling you happy birthday. Awsten is my Harry Styles. And I was just wished a happy birthday by him in front of everybody. Best birthday ever, right? Then he would continue with the show, it would end and I would go home and cherish those two words he said to me. But no, that’s not Awsten’s style, apparently.  

This man starts to go on and on about me and my parents. Me and Thea are laughing and I’m just shaking my head like “wtf, this isn’t happening rn”. Then Awsten tells me “No, you started this and I’m gonna finish it-make eye contact with me-” (this was the moment my soul left my body, I honestly don’t remember much of it but thankfully my mother recorded all of it) and then, it’s not over. He proceeds to go on about my parents while making eye contact with me the whole time, then tells the crowd to be quiet and asks me my name. So, I tell him my name and then he still continues to talk about my parents but this time, referring to me by name.  

This sounds like a fever dream but I swear to God it’s real, it happened, and I have it all on video.  

He compares it to fanfiction (he would know, he has a podcast with his friend Travis where they read fanfiction of the band, it’s called the Slumber Party Podcast and it is hilarious) saying “as long as your parents have at least one fan this is fanfiction.” He still proceeds to continue, and I yell “my mom is here!” he hears me, then asks me where she is. I point to the back of standing room where she was standing by the sound booth, and he asks her to wave her hands so he could find her in the crowd.  

Then he starts talking to her, too.  

So, that happens, and he says “happy birthday Reilly” loud and clear and my soul ascended for a second time.  

We see someone from the opposite side pass Awsten a pin that said “birthday girl”, so I’m guessing it was someone’s birthday also, but he grabs the pin and stares at me and goes “birrrrthdaaay giiirrrrl, gotta spread the wealth” and walks over to where I was standing, mouths my name so everyone could see that the pin was meant for me and no one would steal it (Geoff tried throwing me a pick but the girls in front of me grabbed it), and threw it to me. 

The pin he threw to me, along with a sticker I got from the merch stand

 

And because it’s a Waterparks concert, he says “all things considered that was a good throw, give it up for meeee” 

He asks me more questions that I answer, then says “this song’s about your parents, it’s called Stupid for You” 

He dedicated Stupid for You to my parents.  

AND IT’S NOT OVER YET. 

He starts playing the song and singing the first verse, then normally there’s a guitar solo before the next verse. But, in place of that guitar solo, he sings “happy birthday Reilly, (something about my parents), they really liked each other and now you’re at the Waterparks show” then continued with the rest of the song.  

So, it’s safe to say me and Thea were in shock but also not surprised that he did that. The show came to an end, and I still can’t believe what happened. Everyone was coming up to me and wishing me a happy birthday and saying how hilarious it was.  

Sadly, however, I didn’t get to record the whole thing on my phone from my POV because my phone got disabled. Thankfully I had people in the crowd who videotaped it and sent it to me, as well as my mom who recorded everything in the back. 

So, we go home, and I come to school the next day. I go on twitter because I’m bored in class. And what do I see? Videos of the whole interaction from last night. It was all over my twitter feed. A few videos of it showed up on TikTok and Instagram.  I guess it’s proof that it actually did happen and I didn’t dream it, but it’s still so surreal that the person he’s talking to in all these videos that have hundreds of likes is me. 

Then a few days passed and everything died down, until Monday the 8th, Awsten posted a TikTok jokingly telling people how great their concerts are with a meme or something, and everyone in the comments were telling their stories about their concerts they went to. So I did the same thing. I come back to it some hours later to see that he liked and replied to my comment The audacity.

Top comment is mine, blocked out because no one needs to know my account

Why I chose this band to be my favorite I don’t know.  

Anyways. Stream Greatest Hits.